While it can be difficult to tell whether your own relationship is healthy, it can be just as hard to navigate telling a friend that theirs doesn't seem to be. There are a list of things it's never OK to hear in a relationship, but what if you find out your best friend is in a partnership riddled with red flags? These people explain what red flags they've seen in their friends' relationships, and whether raising the issue has helped their pal.
1.He kept hitting on me
"Her fiancé would not stop hitting on me. Calling me 'gorgeous' and 'sexy' and even telling mutual friends that he knows I 'want him'. It made me so uncomfortable. I tried to talk to her about it and she blamed it on me. I'm single so [she thinks] I must be interested in him. So many red flags." [via]
2.He won't talk to her
"My best friend has been in a relationship with a guy for almost a year and they can't talk about their feelings. He seems like a decent guy but he refuses to tell her he loves her because he's 'not sure yet'. I feel like after a few months you kind of know whether you want to commit to someone. They got in an argument last month and she sent him an email telling him how she felt about it. He never responded and she accepted it as OK behaviour. She says if he doesn't bring it up again by their one-year anniversary next month she's going to bring it up again! She claims it's because he had a bad breakup in high school and he doesn't trust love now. It's so frustrating to watch. She's insanely smart, thoughtful and passionate, I'm not sure why she's putting up with it and making excuses for him." [via]
3.She controls his phone
"His girlfriend gained control of all his social media accounts and emails, and insisted on monitoring his phone use. He says he had nothing to hide so he didn’t care, but now none of us can talk to him about any of our many concerns about the relationship without answering to her." [via]
4.He'll stop at nothing to get what he wants
"My best friend never wanted kids or to get married. Out of the blue she decides to marry this dude. And get pregnant. She wanted me to be happy for her, which I was, until I met him. [He] gave me the fucking creeps. He said some bizarre and alienating things to the point that I straight up confronted him asking what his intentions were and why he was moving so fast.
"He told me he's her priority now, not me, and there's nothing I can do to stop him from getting what he wants from her. When I told my friend this she accused me of lying and manipulating her, and left me at a bar and went off with him. They're now married, her and I haven't spoken in four months." [via]
5.He left her stranded in a city she didn't know
"He has a short fuse and takes his temper out on her by ignoring her for days whenever he's mad (at her or at something else, doesn't make any difference). He gives her the cold shoulder until she starts to miss him and goes back to him, then acts like it never happened. They broke up over Christmas because he started ignoring her on a night out and left her drunk and stranded with no money or keys in an unfamiliar city. I really thought that would be it, but they're already talking again and she's all but forgiven him.
"I think she believes that he's the best she'll ever get. She has low self esteem and has been with much worse men. He's handsome, he's nice to her some of the time, he's apparently good in bed, and that makes him way better than her exes so it's worth putting up with his bullshit to keep him around. I've talked to her and it didn't work, so now I'm just trying to be supportive and honest and boost her self-worth so that she realises that she deserves better." [via]
6.He doesn't let her stay out late
"He's manipulative and so controlling, she isn't allowed to go on trips with her girlfriends, stay out late, and has to send him proof that she's on her way home - to mention a few [examples]. They've recently moved in together even though she says she isn't 100% sure she sees a future with him. She just doesn't want to end up alone even though she's so young and beautiful and has the best personality. All her friends have expressed their concerns but she's still with him. It's just sad, not really sure what to do apart from be there for her." [via]
7.He gets way too drunk
"Her boyfriend can't handle alcohol when he drinks, and always insists on having more than he can handle and it causes problems. He's gotten into fights before and the reason she doesn't see it is because she's usually as plastered as he is. We've all kind of stepped away from them a little bit, as we don't really want any problems when we go out, we just want to have a good time." [via]
8.He kissed me on the forehead
"He's always making remarks about my sex life, mentioned having a polyamorous relationship, has given me gifts that I'm not sure my friend knows about (nothing too fancy, just some notebooks), grinded on me, and he once kissed me on the forehead goodnight. My friend has been present when many of those things happened, but I'm pretty sure she's not into polyamorous relationships and I'm definitely not into them either, and I don't even find the guy attractive at all."[via]
9.There's an imbalance of household tasks
"My friend married pretty quickly into the relationship, and now that they've been living together a while I can definitely see some cracks. Previous to her, he lived back and forth between his parents and having an apartment with roommates, and he never really developed 'lone adult' skills. He was the 'order pizza or have the same plain ham and cheese sandwich for the thousandth time' kind of guy. She's much cleaner, organised and generally more responsible than him.
"They both work full time except she has a long commute whereas his job is local. Yet, she's still the one trying to figure out what to make them for dinner when she gets home, when he's been home already for 1.5 hours and is playing video games when she comes in the door. I can just see that there's a lot of imbalance when it comes to household tasks and responsibilities." [via]
10.She reads all of his messages
"He and I can't hang out unless [his girlfriend] is out of town or is present. They live together, but every second they aren't physically together, they are constantly calling and texting each other. She reads all of his messages. If he is out longer than expected, she blows up his phone. She even once phoned a store she thought he was in to call him over the loudspeakers that his girlfriend wanted him to come home. They decided they were soulmates and wanted to get married the same weekend that they met. He has never been this constantly anxious before, and he's perpetually convinced that his friends don't like him, which is ridiculous. We love him. It's his creepy, obnoxious, and mean girlfriend we take issue with." [via]
11.She's trying to force him to have sex - but he wants to wait
"My best friend is dating a catholic who insists he wants to wait until he’s married to have sex. She obviously doesn’t want to wait, and is scheming ways to appeal to his sexuality and trick him into having sex anyways. He’s already told her several times that he wants nothing to do with any of that stuff, and it’s part of his religious beliefs which he clearly takes seriously. She can’t force him to do something he doesn’t want, this won’t end well, they just aren’t on the same page." [via]